True North Initiative News Scan 12 27 2017


Ten year-end facts Canadians need to know

As we end 2017, here are 10 year-end facts Canadians should understand and consider as we enter 2018. (Fraser Institute)

Canadians prioritize prosecution over rehabilitation for jihadi suspects: poll

Nearly two-thirds of Canadians say the government should prosecute and lay criminal charges against individuals suspected of being involved with jihadi groups overseas, instead of focusing on rehabilitating them when they return to Canada, according to a new survey. A Nanos poll found that 62 per cent of respondents support prosecution of Canadians suspected of jihadi involvement abroad, as opposed to 28 per cent who say the government should prioritize rehabilitation and deradicalization; 10 per cent said they were unsure. (Globe and Mail)

North Korea missile developers hit by US sanctions

The US has placed sanctions on two North Korean officials it says have led the development of nuclear missiles. The US treasury named the two men as Kim Jong-sik and Ri Pyong-chol, and said both were "key leaders" of North Korea's ballistic missile programme. (BBC)

Less than 1,000 IS fighters remain in Iraq and Syria, coalition says

Fewer than 1,000 Islamic State fighters remain in Iraq and Syria, the United States-led international coalition fighting the hardline Sunni militant group said on Wednesday, a third of the estimated figure only three weeks ago. (Reuters)

The average Canadian owes $8,500 in consumer debt, excluding their mortgage: Ipsos poll

The average Canadian owes $8,539.50 in consumer (non-mortgage) debt, but Canadians overall feel better about their financial situation than they did last year, according to an Ipsos poll conducted exclusively for Global News. The poll, conducted between Dec. 10-14, found that 12 per cent of Canadians report consumer debts above $25,000, while 14 per cent have debts between $10,000 and $24,999. (Global)

Lorde cancels Israel concert after pro-Palestinian campaign

The New Zealand singer-songwriter Lorde has cancelled a planned concert in Israel following an online campaign by activists opposed to the Israeli occupation of Palestine. The announcement of the cancellation of the June concert, barely a week after it was announced, came as the singer cited an “overwhelming number of messages and letters” she had received as having led to her decision. (Guardian)


OTHER STORIES (Domestic and International)

Military emails reveal turmoil after Harper's team released 2015 images from battlefield

It was a photo op designed to deliver public relations gold — pictures of the prime minister standing alongside Canadian troops in the battlefield, but it didn't go quite as planned. Newly released documents have shed fresh light on the confusion unleashed within the military when a 2015 trip to Iraq and Kuwait by former prime minister Stephen Harper took an unexpected turn. (CBC)

Bob Rae describes 'appalling' conditions and widespread trauma at Rohingya refugee camps

The former Liberal leader is Canada's special envoy on the Rohingya humanitarian crisis, and he issued an interim report last week describing the plight of the Muslim people who were forced from their homes by the hundreds of thousands and are now stuck in crowded, makeshift refugee camps in neighbouring Bangladesh. (CBC)

2018 to mean more challenges for Canadian retailers

Some in the Canadian retail sector may be forgiven if they seem glad to see the end of 2017, a year that brought upheaval and closures. The year was punctuated by the failure of Sears Canada. The department store chain sought creditor protection in June and ultimately went into a liquidation process that will see it close about 190 stores, ending the jobs of about 15,000 employees. (CBC)

Homeland Security Increasingly Means Putting Agents Outside the Homeland

The Department of Homeland Security is increasingly going global. An estimated 2,000 Homeland Security employees — from Immigration and Customs Enforcement special agents to Transportation Security Administration officials — now are deployed to more than 70 countries around the world. (NY Times)

‘If DREAM Act Were So Popular, Dems Would’ve Shut Down Gov’t:’ Tom Cotton Fires Back at Amnesty Advocates

Sen. Tom Cotton (R-AR) says that if a mass amnesty plan were as popular as the mainstream media purports it to be, Democrats would have used a year-end spending bill to shut down the government unless they got amnesty for millions of illegal aliens. (BreitBart)

The Five Most Triggering Things About Christmas, According To SJWs

While most of us are spending the day opening gifts and hanging out with family and friends, some are determined to find everything wrong with Christmas. (Daily Caller)

Family of British tourist jailed for THREE YEARS in hellish Egyptian prison

The family of a British woman jailed in Egypt after being found guilty of smuggling drugs into the country says they fear she will not survive three years in prison. Shop worker Laura Plummer, 33, from Hull, was arrested after she was found to be carrying 290 Tramadol tablets in her suitcase, a painkiller which is legal in the UK but banned in Egypt. (Daily Mail)

Saudi Arabia blocks Israel's chess team from World Championships

Israel has been left out of the World Chess Championships, which kicked off Tuesday in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, after its players were unable to obtain the visas they needed to attend. In a statement posted online Tuesday, Fatimah S. Baeshen, a spokeswoman for the Saudi ambassador to the United States, blamed a lack of formal relations between the two countries for the denial. (NST)

Saudi-led coalition airstrike in Yemen kills 25, including children: officials

Yemeni witnesses and security officials say a Saudi-led coalition airstrike on a crowded market has killed at least 25 people, including children. They say Tuesday’s strike in the western province of Taiz wounded at least 30 others. (Global)



Mark Bonokoski: No Boxing Day ‘box’ for the ‘servants’ in our lives

The origin of Boxing Day goes back to the Great Britain of the 1830s when, according to the Oxford English Dictionary, a day off was granted to “postmen, errand boys and servants of various kinds who expected to receive a Christmas box” from their overlords. These are different times, of course. Only the richest of the rich have household staff, or domestic assistance. (Toronto Sun

Lorne Gunter: Don't fret, Christmas has prevailed

In his famous comic strip, Pogo, cartoonist Walt Kelly had his title character utter the now-famous phrase “We have met the enemy and he is us.” If you understand that phrase, you’ll know what I mean when I write “The war on Christmas is over and we have defeated ourselves.” Defeat is too strong a word. Christmas hasn’t lost. For the most part, the holiday is safe. (Toronto Sun)

Jerry Agar: Less charity as government claims 'we'll handle it'

Boxing Day is losing its meaning in Canada. Traditionally, the idea was that on the day after Christmas the well-to-do would give gifts to those of less fortunate means; a day of charity. But charity is less important to Canadians today. (Toronto Sun)

Rachel Curran: How governments get stuff done

Last month, at the midpoint of its term in office, the Liberal government launched a website to help chronicle and report progress in keeping the promises it had laid out in various ministerial mandate letters. While the attempt at transparency was admirable, as was the public release of the mandate letters themselves, the tracker showed how modest the progress has been on meeting the government’s election platform commitments. Those commitments, of course, should form the core of any government’s policy agenda, and the Liberals made some 225 promises in a wide variety of issue areas. The excellent Trudeau Meter website, a nonpartisan citizen initiative, lists approximately one-quarter of those promises as implemented, with a significant number of others not yet started or discarded altogether. (Policy Options)

John Ivison: The Phoenix fiasco isn't shocking. Government is just not very good at doing things

If it weren’t the Christmas season, many National Post readers might relish the prospect of so many bureaucrats being strangled by their own red tape as a result of the Phoenix pay system fiasco. Government is notoriously bad about looking after the people it is meant to be serving, so there is a delicious irony about public servants for once being the victims — in this case, of what was supposed to be an efficient, automated national system to pay federal civil servants. (National Post)



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